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Remembering Valley Parade

24 years ago today, Bradford City played a home fixture with Lincoln City. It was supposed to be a day of celebration for Bradford City Football Club and indeed the city of Bradford itself. The Bantams had been promoted to the Old Second Division, captain Peter Jackson was presented with the Third Division Trophy before kick off as 11,000 fans settled in to watch a game.

Five minutes before half time, at 3.40pm, a small fire was noticed at the back of the G Block. By 3.44pm the entire stand had caught fire, including the roof. As panicked supporters stampeded for the exits, 56 spectators perished and 265 were badly injured, either as a result of severe burns or crushing as supporters struggled to escape the blaze. The antiquated wooden stand had been harbouring a powder keg for years, rubbish had been gathering underneath the stand for a significant length of time and it is thought a discarded cigarette or match was enough to kindle the virtual bonfire.

The death toll could have been higher were it not for the bravery and vigilance of police officers and 22 spectators later presented with awards as they pulled people from the fire. In extending condolences to the deceased and their families, it is also only right to pay tribute to the courage of those who kept the already grotesque death toll down. To those who weren't so lucky to escape, we say Rest in Peace.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 11 2009

Time: 10:56PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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http://www.bradford.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=154241
Little Dutch
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11/05/2009 23:00:00

Nicely done Tim! I know people who were there on that tragic day, fortunately they all made it out unscathed ..... thoughts and prayers to the families of those who were less fortunate.
Rocky7
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12/05/2009 08:50:00

RIP to all those who lost their lives. Yet again another shining examle of how football clubs and the authorities show a callous and complete disregard of football fans and their safety. As football fans we aren't known for helping ourselves (Liverpool EG: Heysel and Hillsborough) but to constantly have our safety considered only AFTER people die is scandalous. RIP.
LondonGooner
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12/05/2009 12:39:00

Quite right LG, and we still live under the illsuion that the Taylor Report has magically wiped all of this out. Whilst it's safer now than it has ever been, my friends and I always wonder aloud on our way out of away grounds how the hell Premiership grounds get safety certificates. Anfield is an example, the corridors and stairways are so, so narrow in an attempt to accomodate so many seats, that if there was a genuine emergency or a fire, you're kidding yourself if you think people would get out alive. Upton Park too, it takes about twenty minutes to get out when people are filing out calmly and slowly, if there was a fire or something collapsed or a bomb scare, everyone in Upton Park would be screwed.
Little Dutch
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12/05/2009 13:08:00

Thank you fellas, from the bottom of my heart and from all Lincoln and I'm sure, Badford fans. I was there that day and being a nurse was involved with what first aid i could give on the pitch, the memories of the horror and the smell will never leave me. I still have horrendous nightmares to this day. I thank you, because generally the media has forgotton us, even the local Tv or Lincoln's local paper couldn't be bothered to mention it yesterday, disgusting and disrespectful. Thanks again C T E joint editor Vital Lincoln City. PS Neil, my fellow admin, Is a converted IMP, once a Gooner from birth. ;-) We have something, what??????
C T E
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12/05/2009 15:56:00

Great sentiments LD. It's just a shame the wider world is allowed to forget these events becasue of the 'low' profile of Bradford and Lincoln. Rest in Peace
Phartman87
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12/05/2009 22:08:00

Thanks for the Article, I agree with Phartman87, it is such a shame that The Bradford Fire is not remembered as much as other incidents. My Condolences to all those who were there, to all the families and friends of those who lost there lives.
hackneyval
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13/05/2009 06:58:00

LD - Who authorises the use of the stadiums on the grounds that they are safe enough for football fans to use and worthy of fire/safety/structural certificates I wonder? Football is a massive business and the non awarding of a certificate would cost teams and companies millions and millions of pounds which means maybe local councils (perhaps) are more inclined to give certificates when perhaps remodelling work is required in certain grounds. Having been to Anfield myself I can agree that even though it is a historic stadium with a wonderful atmousphere it is just that an "historic" stadium. There is no way that fans would be able to get out with in any reasonable specified time.
LondonGooner
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13/05/2009 08:41:00

Thanks for this from a Yorkshireman
Tiny T
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13/05/2009 17:38:00

I remember that day as if it were yesterday - absolutely awful
merlin
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14/05/2009 20:45:00

Well said
HuddersfieldYiddo
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15/05/2009 01:05:00

 

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